Sunday, 9 February 2020

Free time in china by Jenna

Au pairs are either constantly busy with the kids or always free. You may be busy picking up the kiddos from school, playing with them, or helping them with their homework. You may be free because the kids are at school and you have nothing to do. Fear not, this post will be all about free time as an au pair and what to do in that spare time.

Going out? Yes, you can!
As a former au pair in Hangzhou and Shenzhen my schedule was very open (and similar), so I am an expert in the subject. My schedule consisted of English class in the evenings then dinner. Lastly, the kids had their bedtime routines. Sometimes I helped out with bedtime, sometimes I did not. This schedule made it so my whole day was free, from when they woke up until they got home from school. I went out a lot, whether that be by myself on walks to see the city, or out with friends to grab a bubble tea and get our eyelashes done. 

The first step is figuring out what you want to do. You want to be alone with your thoughts? Go on a walk, from personal experience Hangzhou and Shenzhen have some great parks. In Hangzhou, there is the famous West Lake to walk around. In Shenzhen, you can walk along a boardwalk and look out at the ocean. 

Manis or pedis?
If you want to be with friends there are plenty of  bars to go to in both cities. You can normally find places where all the ex-pats go. Feeling hungry? Want to save money? Canteen style restaurants are where it is at! Then grab something sweet at the famous chain Coco for some bubble tea. One of my favourite things to do it go to the beauty salon. Whether that be to get manis or pedis, or your eyelashes done, grab a girlfriend, your WeChat for translating and relax. Prices for the salon depending on the area and salon, and sometimes what discounts they have going on that day. 

Transportation while in China
As a next, you need to figure out how to get there. Transportation in a big city is everywhere, especially in China. Fun fact: did you know in Shenzhen the blue taxis are all-electric powered? If they are red they are gas-powered...go green! Easy ways to get around fast is the metro station! You can download a subway map of the area, find the stop you want to go and enjoy the well deserved free time! Make sure you don’t miss your stop. There are also taxi and rideshare services, the bus, biking, and walking. 

There is just so many things you can do in your free time and If you are wondering, whether you will chance to improve your Chinese, the answer is YES! 

What do you like to do in your free time? Let me know in comments below,

Xoxo, Jenna

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